Sports

U-19 cricketers prepped and ready for regional competition

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

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The Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) yesterday announced its national Under-19 male team and management who will participate in the Cricket West Indies (CWI) Regional Under-19 Championship from July 25 to August 10 in St Vincent & the Grenadines.

The 14-man team, which was selected from participants in the recently concluded Sandals Under-19 Championship & Academy, includes batsmen such as captain Kirk McKenzie and Ricardo McIntosh, who were among the top scorers.

“We've got some solid batsmen in this team and players who overall are quite diverse. Our batting goes all the way through the tail, but the real strength in this outfit is our bowling. The lads should do well. We open our account against the Leeward Islands, who we've dominated over the years. Once the young men focus properly and apply their technical skills, then we should get a positive start to the tournament,” said Gibbs Williams, the team manager.

Over the past decade Jamaica have been to the finals on four occasions; winning twice (2009 and 2013) and finishing as runners-up in 2010 and 2015.

Coach Terrence Corke is confident with the level of experience in the team. “There are young men here who have been representing Jamaica at various youth levels, so this is not their first time facing regional competition. The captain is one such example, he's been on our Under-15 and Under-17 teams; this is his second year in the Under-19 set-up.

“Having played in these competitions over the years and now having the benefit of maturity, the young men know what is necessary to finish at the top. We've spent a lot of time working on the focus and concentration because that is what will get us the championship trophy.”

The team has benefited from, among other things, a series of mental training sessions with sports psychologist Olivia Rose as part of the personal development component of their preparation in the Sandals Academy.

“We have spared no effort in preparing this team for success,” added the JCA CEO Courtney Francis. “Our talent and potential are unquestionable. It is the finer things that have been addressed in their preparation,” he said.

Meanwhile, captain Kirk McKenzie asked the country to pay attention to the exploits of this team. “We are the next generation of Jamaica and the Caribbean's cricket. The team knows that Jamaica is with us and they want us to do our best and bring home the championship. That's our sole focus — delivering at the highest level for the team and bringing home the glory,” he said.

In addition to Jamaica, the six-team competition includes Barbados, Guyana, the Windward Islands, the Leeward Islands, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Full squad — Kirk McKenzie, Ricardo McIntosh, Daniel Beckford, Zavier Burton, Christopher Green, Andre Morgan, Odane Thompson, Tian Jarrett, Andre Blake, Michael Thompson, Andre Smiley, Matthew Comerie, Lenox Simpson, Ricardo Thompson.

Coach Terrence Corke, manager Gibbs Williams.


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